Behold: Spotify introduces enhanced playlists with the power of AI

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Spotify is building on its AI DJ feature, adding a new AI-powered playlist feature. Spotify’s AI work nests into its other efforts to differentiate its service from rivals like Apple Music and offerings from Amazon. Starting in just a few countries, the new AI playlist feature will roll out to more markets over time. Some Spotify users have complained that the rollout of new products can take longer than they want to reach their home market, it’s worth noting. But for those of us who aren’t mega-ChatGPT users, AI can seem ever so slightly remote from our regular existence.

Android Studio’s newest update: Gemini integration provides increased coding support

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Google continues rolling out Gemini to different products as today the company announced that Android Studio’s bot is getting upgraded with Gemini Pro. In May 2023, during the Google IO developer event, the company first introduced Studio Bot powered by the PaLM-2 foundation model. The company is rolling out Gemini in Android Studio in over 180 countries for the Android Studio Jellyfish version. Just like the Studio Bot, the new Gemini bot lives in the IDE (Integrated Development Environment) and developers can ask coding-related questions. The company said users can easily access the Gemini API starter template through Android Studio to add generative AI-powered features to their apps.

X introduces feature to post Community Notes in India before upcoming elections

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Weeks before the national elections in India, Elon Musk-owned X said it is rolling out support for posting Community Notes — the company’s crowd-sourced fact-checking program — in the key overseas market. The first set of contributors from India will start posting notes from today and more will be accepted over time, X said. Community Notes now active on India! Over time, the company has allowed members from different countries to start posting Community Notes to provide local context better. India was one of the last major markets where Community Notes had not previously expanded.

Pinterest’s new tool now available in US for body type customization

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Pinterest rolls out its ‘body type ranges’ tool to the USPinterest announced today that its tool for filtering searches by different body types has officially rolled out to users in the U.S. To use the feature, users can type into the search bar and select the “Body Types” option to see four different body types at the top of the results page. If a user selects the same option twice, the body type selection can be saved to their device. Pinterest’s body type ranges feature is currently only available for women’s fashion and wedding ideas. When testing the feature, Pinterest saw that users who used the tool had a 66% higher engagement rate per session, Pinterest chief product officer Sabrina Ellis shares.

Cryptocurrency Surge Leads to Coinbase App Crash, Aptos Sets Sights on Hong Kong, and Telegram Introduces TON Incentive Program

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Bitcoin jumped and Coinbase’s app crashed, while Aptos eyes Hong Kong and Telegram rolls out rewards with TONWelcome to TechCrunch Crypto, formerly known as Chain Reaction. This week in web3Crunching numbersThis week the crypto market was very hyped up as the two biggest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, bitcoin and ether, both jumped about 23.6% and 18%, respectively, on the week, according to CoinMarketCap data. The total crypto market cap increased 19.4% over a seven-day period to $2.34 trillion. Our favorite ‘Crypto Twitter’ postICYMI, last week a lot of crypto people were tweeting about emails from Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin. In June 2022, Magic Eden raised $130 million in a Series B round that granted it unicorn status.

“Latest Updates: Google Debuts Fresh Open LLMs, Rivian Enacts Employee Cutbacks, and Signal Introduces Usernames”

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Google releases new open LLMs, Rivian lays off staff and Signal rolls out usernamesWelcome, folks, to Week in Review (WiR), TechCrunch’s regular newsletter covering noteworthy happenings in the tech industry. This week, Google launched two new open large language models, Gemma 2B and Gemma 7B, in its continued bid for generative AI dominance. The company, which describes the LLMs as “inspired by Gemini,” its flagship family of GenAI models, made each available for commercial and research usage. Change Healthcare hit: Change Healthcare, one of the largest healthcare tech companies in the U.S., confirmed that a cyberattack on its systems occurred recently. YouTube triumphant: YouTube dominates TV streaming in the U.S., per Nielsen’s latest report.

Creators on its TV app now have access to YouTube’s fresh channel pages.

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YouTube is changing the design for creators’ channels on the big screen, the comapny announced today. The update is rolling out to all creators today, but may take a few weeks to appear to all viewers, the comapny told TechCrunch. The changes impact the channel pages on TV only, it noted. Creators will likely respond positively to changes that help boost their subscriber numbers and better showcase their content on the big screen. The company is in competition with traditional TV and streamers like Netflix on TVs, but also with newcomers like TikTok, which launched its own TV app in late 2021.

“Revolutionary Innovations: Disney’s Virtual Reality Treadmill, OpenAI’s Resolution for ‘Lazy’ GPT-4, and Apple’s Stolen Device Safeguard”

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On the agenda for this edition is Disney’s innovative VR treadmill, OpenAI fixing its “lazy” AI and MIT’s high-capacity, fast-charging organic battery tech. We also cover Apple’s new stolen device protection feature, AI startup Rabbit’s nifty hardware and app makers debating launching apps tailor-made for Apple’s Vision Pro headset. Apple’s new device protection: Romain writes about Apple’s new stolen device protection feature, which, when turned on, requires Face ID or Touch ID biometric authentication for some actions, like accessing stored passwords and credit cards. Vision Pro apps a maybe: After Netflix said it wouldn’t release a dedicated app for the Apple Vision Pro, other app makers, including YouTube, are following in its footsteps. Bonus roundLamborghini licenses MIT battery tech: Writing for TechCrunch+, Tim reports that Lamborghini has licensed new battery tech from MIT that could overcome the limitations of the lithium-ion batteries in wide use today.

NASA and Lockheed Embarks on Rolling Out the X-59 Supersonic Jet: A Cutting-Edge ‘Silent’ Aircraft

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NASA and Lockheed Martin have finally taken the wraps off of the X-59, a “quiet supersonic” aircraft that may shape the future of both military and civilian air travel. The X-59 has been under development at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works for years, following a $248 million grant from NASA in 2018. NASA’s X-59 will help change the way we travel, bringing us closer together in much less time,” said Pam Melroy, NASA deputy administrator, in a press release. “By demonstrating the possibility of quiet commercial supersonic travel over land, we seek to open new commercial markets for U.S. companies and benefit travelers around the world,” said NASA’s Bob Pearce. Others than NASA and Lockheed are interested in this kind of flight, of course: Boom Supersonic is hard at work getting its own quiet supersonic test plane out there.

“Revolutionary AI Offerings Unveiled by Google Cloud for Retail Innovations”

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To coincide with the National Retailer Association’s annual conference in NYC, Google Cloud today unveiled new gen AI products designed to help retailers personalize their online shopping experiences and streamline their back-office operations. But the slew of announcements show, if nothing else, how aggressively Google is attempting to court gen AI customers. (Google’s long offered Distributed Cloud Edge as a service, but it’s now targeting retailers more directly.) My question after being pre-briefed on all this was, frankly, are retailers really clamoring for gen AI? But considering some of the rocky rollouts of gen AI in retail recently (see: Amazon’s review summaries exaggerating negative feedback), I can’t say I’m convinced that the retail industry will rush to adopt gen AI en masse — from Google Cloud or any other provider.